Crypto market daily report – November 5, 2018

After a long hiatus where most of the major coins were sleepily lying in wait at record low levels, it seems that the bull has finally awakened and there is no better proof of this than Bitcoin Cash. The popular cryptocurrency roared ahead by no less than 25% over the weekend to settle at around the $560 mark on Binance at press time on Monday. This seems to be in anticipation of the protocol upgrade that should go ahead by November 15 with major cryptocurrency exchange Binance already declaring its support.

BTC increased by around 4% to settle at around $6,450 after it had been trading in the $6200-$6300 range for most of the past week. Ripple was also slightly up to the $0.47 point on some exchanges, although it seems to have settled at relatively that level for the past few weeks. EOS was also slightly up by around 1% to the $5.50 although some recent bad press could have a negative effect on the price in the short term.

Litecoin remained staid in the $53-54 position, whilst Dash saw a considerable increase of around 10% to the $165 level on the back of news that it was going to be involved with the Venezuelan government as a solution for the country’s terrifying recession. Ethereum slid back down to just over the $200 mark after having risen by 4% to around $215 on Sunday. Stellar remained relatively stable at the $0.24 level, whilst NEO posted a slight increase of around 5% on Sunday to just over the $17 mark before losing half of that on Monday to settle at around the $16.50 level.

Other coins with smaller market caps had mixed performances with most remaining static. MIOTA was down by around 2% to the $0.50 level, whilst BNB saw a small 1% decline to the $9.74 level on eToro, which recently listed the coin. ZCash was also down by around 2% to the $118 level, whilst Ethereum Classic posted a similar decline to the $9.30 level. Cardano gained 5% on Sunday but lost 2% on Monday to trade at the $0.077 level at press time.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Blockchain firms partner against ad fraud

Blockchain4Media, a company that validates digital advertisements, has partnered with software consortium R3 to help ensure that companies’ advertising funds reach their intended customers.

The agreement will allow Blockchain4Media to better detect non-validated end-users and false ad engagement, through the use of R3’s Corda blockchain platform, according to a press release.

Blockchain4Media CEO LuRae Lumpkin said, “The speed of transactions on Corda was a key criterion in the technology selection process and will enable Blockchain4Media to help prevent fraud and put control back in the hands of the media buyers and the brands they serve.”

The company noted that digital advertising was a $223.7-billion business last year, while fraud in the industry amounted to about $19 billion annually worldwide. According to its website, “digital advertisers have no good defense against fraud” using more traditional online resources, and that ad placement platforms had little incentive to detect or stop fraud.

R3 CEO David Rutter said of the partnership, “Corda’s unique design will enable Blockchain4Media to provide digital advertisers and brands with access to authentic consumer engagement. We look forward to working with them to develop ground-breaking solutions to tackle ad fraud.”

R3’s global network includes members and partners with which it is working on various blockchain projects on the open-source Corda blockchain. Late last year, it made Corda available on Amazon Web Services for users to develop their applications. Corda is also planned for use in HM Land Registry’s management of about 25 million land titles in England and Wales.

R3 is also working with the Bank of Thailand for the creation of a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency for the Southeast Asian country, in collaboration with financial institutions such as HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank.

Automotive giant Toyota has also reported success in its use of blockchain technology to detect ad fraud. In a campaign with blockchain advertising analytics firm Lucidity, Toyota saw a 21% increase in visits to its website in comparison with similar campaigns. The car manufacturer said it was already considering further use of blockchain in succeeding campaigns.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Taiwan moves versus anonymous crypto transactions

Taiwanese legislators have amended the country’s financial laws in order for cryptocurrency transactions to be covered by the same anti-money laundering (AML) restrictions as fiat currencies.

News outlet Focus Taiwan said the changes to the country’s AML and terrorism financing prevention laws will now be applicable to cryptocurrencies. State regulator the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) will have authority to make cryptocurrency exchanges and other trading platforms require users to provide their real names. If cryptocurrency-related companies are unable to obtain such information in servicing their clients, banks could refuse to deal with them, and even report them in the event that such transactions appear suspicious.

News.Bitcoin.com noted that noncompliance with the new measure by nonfinancial firms will result in a fine of from CNY50,000 ($7,300) to not more than CNY1 million ($145,000). Noncompliant financial institutions, on the other hand, will be meted a penalty of from CNY500,000 ($73,000) to not more than CNY10 million ($1.45 million).

The Ministry of Justice was reported by Focus Taiwan as saying that previous amendments in 2016 had been insufficient in preventing financial crimes, thus requiring the recent legislation, which is expected to raise the country’s standing when it is evaluated by intergovernmental organization the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) this month.

The ministry also said Taiwan would now be more in conformity with international standards versus money laundering.

A representative from cryptocurrency exchange BitoEX was cited by News.Bitcoin.com as saying the company’s requirement to provide real names had only been applicable to transactions involving fiat. Cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency transactions, however, have been possible without providing one’s real name.

FSC Chairman Wellington Koo has said that his agency was in the process of drafting guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs), with the aim of simplifying the offering process, and to enhance the liquidity of tokens. The FSC reportedly intends to implement the new ICO regulations by June 2019.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Court slams South Korean bank accused of treating crypto exchange unfairly

As a country, South Korea has been largely progressive in its acceptance of innovations in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. The infrastructure of the cryptocurrency exchange market of South Korea is strengthening rapidly, with the support of the government towards small businesses and crypto trading platforms.

Last week, a Seoul Central District Court has reportedly ruled in favor of a local crypto exchange, admonishing a major South Korean bank for cutting ties with the crypto company.

A legal battle has been ongoing between Coinis Exchange and one of the South Korea’s largest commercial banks—Nonghyup Bank. In September, the bank terminated its partnership with Coinis, citing the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines issued by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) as the grounds for the unilateral termination, according to local media reports.

The termination of the agreement meant that Coinis could not process deposits or withdrawals, ZDNet reported. This prompted the crypto exchange to turn to court for help, seeking to block the termination and restore its relationship with Nonghyup.

The Seoul Central District court agreed with Coinis’ arguments through its lawyer and ruled that the termination was unfair. The court held that termination of deposits and withdrawals for the exchange had not followed due course and no cause had been shown in evidence as to a breach of the guidelines issued by the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

The ruling sets a major precedent in South Korea. It is the first time a local cryptocurrency exchanger has challenged a major bank for unfairly treating a crypto business.

Attorney Kim Tae-lim, representing Coinis, told Digital Daily: “This case is significant in that it is a decision to point out that indiscriminate regulation against a virtual currency exchange should be avoided in the absence of legal grounds.”

This isn’t the first time that Nonghyup has called off a banking partnership with a local crypto exchange. Recently, the South Korean bank cancelled its partnership with Bithumb, citing breaches of the guidelines issued to crypto exchangers.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Officials in Bulgaria arrested for selling passports for crypto

It appears as though a small handful of enterprising government officials out of Bulgaria were looking to make some extra money on the side. The Bulgarian police have busted a ring for selling passports in exchange for Bitcoin Core (BTC).

The country’s Prosecutor’s General Office has arrested General Secretary Krasimir Tomov, an official with the Bulgarian State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, Peter Haralampiev, and an agency employee, Mark Stoyov. The arrests were confirmed by the Chief Prosecutro of the State, Ivan Geshev, who said, “Peter Haralampiev, Krasimir Tomov, and Mark Stoyov have been arrested for fraud with the issuance of Bulgarian passports to Ukrainian, Moldovan and Macedonian citizens.”

Lawyers representing the accused have denied the allegations, but the prosecutor’s office affirms that it has evidence that the trio issued passports in exchange for unauthorized payments through cryptocurrency. The arrests are just the latest in a scandal that has rocked the country.

20 people were recently detained in Bulgaria for allegedly selling passports to individuals from Macedonia, Ukraine and Moldova. They charged around $5,600 per passport and the continued corruption has many in Bulgaria calling for Vice Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov to step down. Simeonov has said that he will not be held responsible for the corruption and refuses to give up his power.

Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 2007. As a member, it can issue EU passports that give the holders rights to travel and live in other EU countries with virtually no restrictions.

Fake passport rings in the EU have been busted before. Two years ago, Europol broke up a ring operating out of Greece with an office in the Czech Republic. The group was led by citizens out of Ukraine, Sudan and Bangladesh.

In addition to passports, the group would also issue residency permits and driver’s licenses and fees varied from type of document and origin of the solicitor. Someone out of Africa, Asia or the Middle East would pay as much as $4,300 for a passport, while a European citizen would be forced to pay more than $10,000.

Additionally, a Polish criminal gang was busted for issuing Polish passports to Ukrainian citizens and then illegally transporting them to the UK.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Coinseed offers crypto “cash back” program

A relatively new startup that has been flying under the radar is preparing to give cryptocurrencies an economic boost. Coinseed is going to include a new feature in its app that will offer a cash back loyalty program that will reward consumers by giving them crypto based on purchase volumes with retailers such as Walmart, eBay, Panasonic and more.

The Delaware, U.S.-based company indicates that users of its app will be able to make purchases at a variety of online merchants and pay with a debit or credit card. A percentage of the amount spent will be returned to the shopper in the form of cryptocurrency and the amounts can range from 1-8%. Users can choose between the different currencies supported by Coinseed, which currently number 13 and include Bitcoin BCH, Bitcoin Core, Ethereum and more.

Coinseed now offers an app that allows users to purchase crypto with their spare change when making online purchases. Purchase amounts can be rounded up, with the difference sent to a user’s wallet. It also allows for recurring crypto purchases and one-time investments.

According to a statement by the company, “Coinseed is an application that allows users to effortlessly invest small sums into their customized cryptocurrency portfolio. The app’s most innovative feature allows users to connect their credit card to a portfolio, round every purchase made with the card up to the nearest dollar, and automatically invest these cents into the portfolio.”

Coinseed is a trading and investment app that is available for both Android and iOS devices. It allows users to trade a number of cryptocurrencies with a single click. It also includes a simulated trading platform where users can experiment with their own market analysis without risking their assets, as well as weekly trading tournaments.

Coinseed launched at the end of last and held an initial coin offering (ICO) for its own CSD token this past March. The platform had initially been made available internationally, but had to pull back in order to receive financial approval in the countries where it wanted to operate. According to the company’s website, it is now only available in the U.S., but plans on adding support for additional countries as soon as it receives regulatory approval.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Russia Duma said to be considering launching stablecoin

Venezuela already has its Petro stablecoin in circulation and Peru is said to be next with its PeruCoin, which is expected to be launched soon. Now, it looks like Russia might be considering its own state-backed cryptocurrency.

According to Russian media outlet Govorit Moskva, the state Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets announced this past Friday that it is discussing creating a ruble-backed stablecoin in response to an increase in household debt. Duma member and Chairman of the committee Anatoly Aksakov added in a press conference that the stablecoin would be pegged to the country’s currency on a 1-to-1 basis and that an unspecified bank would issue a set amount of tokens based on a deposit made to Russia’s central bank.

Aksakov stated, “I am convinced that a cryptocurrency will appear, but it will be a secured cryptocurrency. At some bank, a certain amount of money is deposited on the deposit, and the bank issues the appropriate amount of crypto tools. The ratio of this currency will be one to one with the ruble.”

A Russian government-issued stablecoin was first discussed earlier this year and was expected to be made available at some point in 2019. An adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Sergey Glazyev, said recently that there had not been any progress on the stablecoin, but added that its implementation would not be difficult since the framework had already been created.

The fact that a state-backed cryptocurrency could be coming to the Russian economy is more than likely a huge factor in what has seemed like a backtrack on the country’s position toward digital currency. At the beginning of September, police started seizing crypto ATMs across the country.

Later that same month, a regulatory framework for crypto had been discussed by the Duma; however, by the time it made it through the legislative channels, any reference to cryptocurrency had been removed. The cryptocurrency community has become increasingly frustrated with the apparent lack of progress for crypto regulations and decided to begin self-regulation last week. The merits of such an organization could become moot if Russia decides to completely take over the cryptocurrency industry.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Bitmain on verge of losing chip supplier, debts mounting

We have heard from multiple sources close to Bitcoin mining manufacturer Bitmain that the company is no longer receiving chips from its chief supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

Bitmain’s account with TSMC is reportedly in arrears to the tune of over $300 million. Bitmain owed TSMC $1 billion but could only manage to pay $700 million and is unable to pay the remaining debts.

This news comes just two months after market research firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co published a report suggesting the Chinese ASIC manufacturer’s prospects were so dire that TSMC should abandon favourable credit terms with Bitmain.

We have yet to receive a response from TSMC regarding Bitmain’s debts, but our sources tell us that it’s unlikely TSMC will continue to do business with Bitmain even if they are able to make their debt payments.

“If TSMC continues to do business with Bitmain, they’ll require a good behaviour bond. Their chips will slow to market as they won’t start work until they’ve received payments for future orders in full.”

Allegedly, Bitmain is contemplating reaching out to Korea’s Samsung to make a chip deal, but such a deal would likely be dead in the water as Samsung has no interest in working with any company that has burned their past suppliers.

According to our source, Bitmain’s CEO Jihan Wu is running out of time to pay off the company’s debts. With close to a quarter of a billion dollars owed to other accounts, he has less than six months to make his creditors whole.

The company’s IPO seems more in doubt by the day as analysts have picked apart the misinformation contained in their prospectus.

Hash war rages on
In his effort to win the current hash war happening on the BCH chain, Wu is apparently renting hash power from BTC miners (such as those in pools controlled by Bitmain – Antpool and BTC.com) and moving that hash temporarily to the BCH chain.

As a result, when one of these mercenary miners mines a block, Bitmain must pay them in BTC coins (which are guaranteed to be liquid), rather than in BCH coins. The amount paid in BTC would be the approximate monetary amount a miner would have earned (12.5 coins in block reward and transaction fees) if their hash was still mining on the BTC chain, plus some incentive amount for temporarily renting their hash.

While Bitmain could receive back the BCH block rewards mined by that rented hash, the BCH payouts will be worth significantly less in monetary value than what Bitmain will be paying out in BTC. With BCH currently in the US$550 range and BTC a little over $6200, this hash-renting is very expensive, could easily cost Bitmain millions of dollars per day, and will only exacerbate Bitmain’s massive debt load.

We’re watching the beginning of the end for the once mighty Bitmain. The group that was the dominant force in the crypto industry is now burdened with corporate and personal debt, losing suppliers and clinging to the hopes their wormhole boondoggle pays off.

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Crypto ATM firm Coinsource secures New York’s BitLicense

The world’s largest crypto ATM company Coinsource has become the latest firm to secure a coveted virtual currency license in New York, after winning the approval of regulators at the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

In securing the license—one of only nine to have been granted to date—Coinsource becomes the first company of its kind to have been awarded the license, which will enable them to provide a range of regulated services throughout the state.

In a statement, Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark said that all New Yorkers were now eligible to buy and sell with confidence at Coinsource kiosks.

According to Clark, “Coinsource is the first and only company that operates Bitcoin Teller Machines (BTM) to receive a New York virtual currency license. All New Yorkers—from the people that are unbanked to the people who own the banks—can use our kiosks in their neighborhood retail locations to buy Bitcoin instantly in a convenient and familiar way.”

“Now that Coinsource is a license holder, our customers can buy and sell with confidence that Coinsource meets and exceeds the high standards set by the New York Department of Financial Services,” he noted. “New York represents not just a center of global innovation but also one of our largest target markets. We are extremely proud to be the only Bitcoin ATM operator holding a New York virtual currency license.”

The New York virtual currency license, dubbed the BitLicense, is increasingly seen as an essential step for firms keen to increase their appeal to regulated investors, with the likes of Coinbase, Circle and Ripple amongst the others to have secured licenses to date.

Clark said that the license would ultimately further validate the crypto ATM industry, as well as helping ordinary New Yorkers access cryptocurrencies more easily.

He explained, “From the onset, our goal was to provide millions of Americans with a reliable and convenient way to buy digital currency. Bitcoin is no longer a fringe currency, and in 2018, is increasingly being adopted by the mainstream. Today, with the issuance of the virtual currency trading license to a BTM operator, the Bitcoin industry takes another step toward public adoption.”

“This is a landmark day for Coinsource, but an even more important win for New Yorkers. We only hope that this milestone brings further validation to the BTM industry. It proves that regulators will reward entrepreneurs who combine innovation with a willingness to meet best practices and compliance standards,” Clark said.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Russia’s crypto sector appoints arbitrator to handle disputes

Russia’s cryptocurrency sector has given up waiting for legal certainty and taken regulation into its own hands, following the decision of an industry body to establish an arbitration body.

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which lobbies on behalf of cryptocurrency regulation and better infrastructure for the fintech sectors, said it was establishing the arbitration body to handle disputes arising from cryptocurrency transactions, smart contracts and token sales, according to local media reports.

The arbitration body will also have a wider remit, extending to disputes across the ‘digital economy’, pitched as a solution to the broad lack of regulation around these new and emerging industries.

The body has already invited experts and academics from relevant fields to get involved, in a bid to secure the expertise required to effectively adjudicate on crypto disputes.

At the moment, investors in cryptocurrency are unprotected by Russian law, which has now legal mechanisms for enforcing property rights within the digital economy—largely as a result of legal provisions that are far out of date and ill-equipped to handle disputes arising in these cases.

Russian courts are already reported to be struggling with the volume of cryptocurrency disputes, which consistently prove to be challenging and often expensive cases to hear.

It is expected that the ICO boom will eventually filter through into even more litigation, raising fears from within the cryptocurrency sector that the civil court system is running the serious risk of overwhelm.

The new arbitration panel, which aims to provide an alternative mechanism for resolving these disputes, is expected to convene for the first time in early 2019.

As it stands, cryptocurrency transactions and businesses in Russia are subject to somewhat unclear legal treatment, with often contradictory rulings from domestic courts and dictates from the government, officials and industry representatives.

While the arbitration panel will do nothing to address these fundamental issues with current laws, it is hoped that it can at least provide a formal channel for parties to resolve disputes arising from their dealings in cryptocurrencies.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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